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Sunday, January 20, 2019

2019 Monastic Retreat

The second annual "Monastic Retreat" for young people interested in knowing more about monastic life was held from Sunday 13 January 11:00 a.m. until Sunday 20 January at 15:00.
Our two Familiars Isaac and Benedict, with Aidan, a Boy Solitary, all from NZ, made the retreat with Shine, another young person from North Dakota. 

04.55 Rise
05.30 Mental Prayer
06.00 Office of Matins and Lauds
07.00 Holy Mass, Thanksgiving
08.00 Breakfast, Remission. Emptying of night-buckets.
09.00 Office of Terce, Liturgical Studies or Monastic Conference
10.00 Manual Work
12.30 Angelus and closure of Manual Work, wash up.
13.00 Office of Sext, Particular Examen, Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
13.15 Dinner in silence, reading at table
14.00 Recreation
15.00 Office of None, Opening of the Three Hours of the Little Silence -  in Honour of Our Lord’s agony on the Cross
16.00 Spiritual Reading
16.30 Mental Prayer in the cell
17.00 Remission in silence, time to visit the Blessed Sacrament, read, go for a walk alone
17.30 Office of Vespers
17.45 Holy Rosary
18.15 Supper in silence, reading at table
19.00 Recreation
19.30 Night Prayer and Office of Compline
20.10 Remission in the Great Silence (free time to pray, relax, prepare for sleep and the next day)
21.30 Lights Out

The Three Monastic Camps

Camp One: Valsainte
Valsainte was a deserted and despoiled Carthusian monastery in Switzerland: described as empty cells, bare walls and a roof. In 1818 it was given to the homeless community of the Transalpine Redemptorists under the leadership of Venerable Father Joseph Passerat. We commemorated 200 years of that event last year when we hosted the first Monastic Retreat. Our Valsainte is still not much more than a bare shed with a roof, which our retreatants made their monastic paradise.

The four retreatants camped the week in Valsainte -the old wool shed. Camping conditions were improved this year.
Looking around Valsainte's four cells for four retreatants.
Each retreatant must have his own cell.
Already we need more cells for next year.
The cell - looking out.
The cell - looking in
Valsainte - Father Anthony Mary checking the entrance.

 Camp Two:  The Hermitage of Mt St Joseph's Kakahu.

The hermitage comprises of two cells, bathroom, and kitchen/refectory.
Shine's mother Corrie, and Samantha Maria were present to help the retreat, to pray and they also provided the meals. They lodged in the two cells of the hermitage.

Corrie and Samantha Maria preparing the midday meal...

At prayers...
paying a visit, and watching how it is done.
Samantha Maria is a Daughter of the Most Holy Redeemer 
living the contemplative and active life.

Camp three: The Laura of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour

During the retreat the five monks' accommodation was set up as
 the Laura of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour 
in the lower field (or paddock as we say in New Zealand). 

The Church on earth is called the Church Militant.
Monks are Milites Christi - Soldiers of Christ...
A monastery is a soldiers' camp.
Each monk had a tent.
From a tent to the hermitage.


The morning Mass in Mt St Joseph's Oratory.

The Holy Mass
The Liturgy of  audible prayers, of whispered prayers and silence.
The small oratory Mass necessarily includes the sounds of the dawn chorus of waking nature.
Benedicite, montes et colles, Domino...
Benedicite, omnes volucres caeli, Domino. 
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord...
All you birds of heaven, bless the Lord.
[Sunday, Lauds Canticle Dan. 3]

Prayers before Our Blessed Lord in the Tabernacle of the Altar.
Internal, spiritual, invisible.
Heart speaks to heart.
Ora. Ora. Ora.


Ora et labora.
Prayer and Work.

Work one: Firewood

Brother Seelos Maria cutting wood.

Gathering the rounds of wood.

Working together.

 Using the splitter.

Aidan and Father Anthony.

Isaac and Benedict packing the wood away.

 The Boy Solitary 
Living the Hidden Life in union with the Boy Jesus.

Work two: Valsainte

Concrete arriving for the floor of Valsainte.

Waiting for the concrete.

Father Anthony Mary moving the concrete.

 The Supervisors ready to throw medals into the concrete.

Screeding the concrete.

Observing the finishing touches.
Job done.

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